You have the snacks and your teen has the perfect outfit -- now it's time to keep her guests entertained while waiting for the big moment. Skip the card games and invite everyone to have some real fun with games that get them moving and socializing. As everyone gets a little tired, the games may get a little sillier. Be sure to keep a steady supply of refreshments handy so everyone has the energy to keep going.
A New Year's Outfit
You know that your teen's friends put a lot of thought into their outfits, so try channeling that creative energy into a group design project. You'll need lots of newspaper or other types of paper, duct tape, sticky tape, pins, string and glue. If you're not afraid of a little extra clean-up later, add glitter, pompoms and other accessories. Now divide the guests into groups of five or six. One person from each group is the model, while the other group members are the designers. Each group has 10 minutes to create a special New Year's outfit for their model. If the group is feeling brave -- or silly -- make a contest out of which outfit will actually last without falling apart until after midnight.
The "What If" Game
All that's needed for this entertaining game are slips of paper or index cards and enough pens for the group. There are three parts to the game. First, have everyone write a question that starts with "What if..." It can be a question about the new year or other players if you want a theme -- just keep it friendly. The questions can also be silly or perfectly serious; it's all up to the players. Next, shuffle the cards and pass them out so everyone has a card. If someone receives her own question, let her exchange cards with another person. Now everyone writes an answer that starts with the word "Then..." For example, if a card reads "What if Lisa owned a cat?" the answer may be "Then she'd be sneezing all the time." Then the game gets silly. The first person reads his question, but instead of reading his answer, the person next to him reads her answer. Then she reads her question and the person on her other side reads his answer. It can be pretty funny to hear answers that make no sense and even funnier to hear answers that actually work. Just keep an ear on your young guests during the game to ensure that everyone is playing nicely.
If you're ringing in the new year with a group of young hams, this is the game for them. It works best with four to 12 people and needs no extra supplies to get going. Be sure that everyone understands what an adverb is before starting. Explain that it describes a way to do something. You may want to make a rule that all words end with "ly," like chivalrously, happily or frivolously. Send one player out of the room -- if there is a large group, you may want to send out a few to act as a team. After she's left, the other players decide on an adverb to act out. After the word is picked, the player comes back into the room and begins trying to guess the word. She picks any people in the room and gives them a scenario to act out using the word to guide their actions. For example, if two people are picked to act out a conversation to show the word "loudly," they may pretend to yell into the phone. This game can get really fun when the person guessing begins to give detailed, and possibly silly, scenarios for the others to act out.
This game is ideal for big groups, especially if your teen knows that there are some crushes floating around. Prepare strips of paper in advance. On each, write a type of animal. There should be two strips of paper for each animal. Now, get the group together in the middle of the room and toss the paper in the air. Everyone needs to grab a piece of paper and begin to act like the animal listed. Once the player has found the matching animal, possibly with much laughter depending on who the match is, then it's time to hurry and sit down. The last pair standing has to sit out the rest of the game. Keep doing this until they narrow it down to a winning "couple" and name them the king and queen of the New Year. This game is sure to lead to some in-jokes for the group for a long time.